In its doubleheader against UMass Lowell at the Softball Complex on Tuesday, the Binghamton softball team split the bill. The Bearcats (13-14, 4-3 America East) fell, 8-6, to the River Hawks (11-22, 1-7 AE) in the first game before capturing the finale, 8-1.
In the opener, the River Hawk offense struck first when senior outfielder Ariana Darcy smacked a double in the first inning. Two batters later, junior catcher Emilia Davies delivered a two-run homer to make the score 2-0. The second inning saw UML add three more runs to its total, pushing the lead to five. Senior outfielder Ally Greene hit a sacrifice fly and the River Hawks plated their second run by capitalizing off of a Binghamton error. After two walks surrendered by BU sophomore pitcher Shelby Donhauser, UML went on to load the bases and scored off of a hit-by-pitch.
“I think one thing that we saw from Shelby today was she just had more walks so we felt it was time to get her out when we did,” Binghamton head coach Michelle Burrell said.
Donhauser was replaced by freshman pitcher Sarah Miller in the top of the fourth after she once again loaded the bases. Miller gave up what should have been a grand slam to sophomore shortstop Alisha Welsh, who rounded the bases before diving into the arms of her teammates. However, Welsh failed to touch home plate, garnering a triple and an out from her blast to make the score 8-0.
The Bearcats got on the board in the home half of the fourth when a leadoff homer by junior catcher Lisa Cadogan ignited a six-run frame. Singles from sophomore infielder Crysti Eichner and sophomore outfielder Gabby Bracchi, a double by Miller, as well as a two-run homer from freshman outfielder Jessica Rutherford, brought the Bearcats to within two.
That is the closest Binghamton would come, however, as strong pitching from the River Hawks ensured their victory, 8-6.
In the second game, Binghamton was the first to score, as junior outfielder Sydney Harbaugh went yard with a shot to center in the third.
“It’s always exciting to hit a homerun, and I know that my team is behind me,” Harbaugh said. “We weren’t doing very well in the first game but we were just able to pick each other up as we’re going.”
Harbaugh’s homer sparked a four-run rally, which featured a second homer, this time from Cadogan. Her dinger drove in three to put Binghamton ahead, 4-0.
The Bearcats — who lead the conference in team batting average with a .312 mark — continued their offensive onslaught in the fourth. Rutherford tripled to drive in two runs before she crossed the plate via a Cadogan double.
“I think the one thing that [the players] do a really good job of is, when they get momentum, they kind of ride it,” Burrell said. “That is a thing that we talked about. We really wanted to try to get momentum early, and we kind of made that — to score first and get ahead — our goal in the second game.”
Binghamton’s defense in the finale was solid, with junior pitcher Cara Martin allowing just one run in the fifth inning on her way to throwing a complete game.
“I thought [Martin] did a really good job on the mound,” Burrell said. “There were a couple of ground balls that we probably should have had, and she stayed really composed and consistent on the mound. I definitely think she had a really good game out there.”
The Bearcats, ahead by six in the sixth inning, got their last run when Cadogan doubled to drive in Bracchi and cap the score at 8-1.
Binghamton is scheduled to return to action this weekend with a three-game series against Albany. The teams will face off in a doubleheader slated for 1 p.m. Saturday with a second game following directly after. The series is set to conclude on Sunday with a single game at noon. All games will take place at the Softball Complex in Vestal, New York.